Donovan wasn't involved with Operation Paperclip
Douglas Turner besmirches the reputation of one of America's greatest patriots, Buffalo native Gen. William J. Donovan, the founder of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War II predecessor to the CIA and U.S. Special Operations Command, in his April 23 column about Operation Paperclip, the post-World War II recruitment of Nazi scientists by the U.S. government.
The accusation that Donovan was "running the operation" is wrong. The original operation, known as Overcast, began in July 1945 under the Joint Chiefs of Staff. President Harry Truman authorized the operation in August 1945 -- one month before he disbanded the OSS by executive order. The organization "directly responsible" for Operation Paperclip, according to the National Archives, was the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency.
Turner writes that not naming the courthouse in Donovan's honor is a "good thing." Not tarnishing the reputation of a great man and getting your facts straight is a better thing.
President, OSS Society
Children are suffering due to poor parenting
I would like to make the apology that no one will ever make. I would like to apologize to the students of Buffalo schools on behalf of their parents.
I am apologizing to all of the students who are unable to get to school every day. I am sorry your parents have failed you. I wish your parents would value your education enough to make sure you make it to school every day.
Everyone is quick to bash the teachers, but the educators are trying to teach this community a valuable lesson. Getting an education is important. Students cannot get an education if they are not in school. Quality teachers cannot teach students who are not present.
As it stands, the teachers will lose 50 positions by not accepting teacher evaluations that do not account for excessive student absences. I believe the teachers are being courageous by sacrificing their jobs.
Instead of seeing this for what it is, we are quick to point fingers at the professionals in the room rather than deal with the unruly children, and the parents who cannot or will not invest in their child's education.
Teachers are the ones taking care of students
The News editorial titled "Blame Rumore" has no knowledge of the teacher evaluation system, which it called "reasonable." Please do some research on the topic before you accuse Phil Rumore of being difficult. He is supporting us, the teachers, who know firsthand the circumstances of most of the children who attend Buffalo Public Schools. Why should we be evaluated on the performance of children who are not there?
Furthermore, for the most part, many of the children who are there have endured serious issues and even trauma in their short lives. Many are angry and volatile, and they come to school with emotional needs that we have to meet before any learning can take place. Their issues are so serious that they cannot be mended with only a Band-Aid. Their problems are real and ongoing. The teachers are the ones who care about these children. We wipe their tears, comfort them, calm them down and intervene to find the appropriate counseling and help.
Teachers want to be evaluated in a reasonable and fair way and the New York State assessments are neither reasonable nor fair. Teachers need to be evaluated based on performance. Anyone who believes that the assessments are a fair teacher evaluation tool needs to step into a classroom on any of the five, 90-minute assessment days and see the torture these children are enduring. This harmful, unjust treatment has caused children to have panic attacks and tantrums. The sight would bring anyone who really cares about children to tears. These children deserve more. We want them to have an enriching curriculum, based on creative lessons and experimentation in a nurturing environment. We cannot provide that for them if we are forced to teach to the test and subject them to these horrific assessments! Spend some time in our shoes and you'll see who really cares about children.
Waterfront property belongs to the people
Please do not sell our waterfront property. Keep the most valuable real estate in this region in the hands of the taxpayers. We need our politicians to step in here big time. Surely as many people use the Small Boat Harbor as they do Ralph Wilson Stadium. Look at the money we dump into that place.
Whether they are boat owners, fishermen or just people in general using the waterfront for recreation, thousands flock there every summer. We cannot trust any investor coming along with big promises. We need funding from all levels to make this work. Haven't we learned anything in the last several decades? I guarantee you that if the waterfront property is sold to a private entity, it will come back to bite us in the rear end.
William P. Fulton
Develop a plan now for empty hospitals
There will soon be four major hospital sites that will be sitting empty: Millard Fillmore at Gates Circle, Women & Children's, Sheehan and Deaconess. The issue of these vacancies has not been thoroughly addressed by New York State, Kaleida Health and others.
Marketing ads in The News on April 22 stated that "Reuse plans for the site at Bryant Street and Elmwood Avenue would follow completion of financing for a new hospital." If you read between the lines, that means there is no plan.
Neither New York State nor Kaleida has set aside funds for reuse, nor has it been able to establish any committed developers for any of these four sites. All focus has been on the new Buffalo Niagara Medical corridor, which is wonderful for Buffalo, but does not address blight on neighborhoods with empty hospitals.
Ginger B. Maiman
Namibia poor example of free-market system
The April 22 Another Voice gave an interesting account of property rights addressing poaching in Namibia. I'm not sure that a Third World country -- with a life expectancy of 52 years (U.S., 78) and an average income of $7,300 (U.S., $43,000) -- represents the best laboratory for free markets. The government has all it can do to help people obtain the basic necessities of life.
In our own country, cap-and-trade, an attempt to address air pollution using market systems, is under attack by the political party that worships at the altar of free markets. Go figure!